October 31, 2011
Having had to move for the second time in 3 months, I am now back to square one on how to tie up my backstrap loom. I am in a smaller room than ever and I simply can't find a spot that works. The frustration of this is at an all time high!
There is no room for my usual table (if you recall I found it trash picking and it worked perfect), and I don't think the walls in a mobile home will take the pulling very well. I am made to feel much more welcome here, but I often find my weaving a meditative solitary endeavor. In other words, even though I could weave in the living room, there is a HUGE big screen, 2 adults and a 6 yr. old alot of the time in the same room.
In thinking about this dilemma ever since I first started to do backstrap weaving, I am find it a total PITA each time I have to move. I am finding that for my purposes this loom is anything but portable...or maybe to clarify, it is portable in that it is easily moved and transported, but not portable as to finding a place to tie up. Maybe if I were in another country where folks sit outside alot more, a tree would be very handy! But here in Florida in the southern United States, between the mosquitoes, flies and humidity, as I have a choice, I prefer to weave indoors. Thus the dilemma.
So I have been researching Inkle looms for quite some time now. For many reasons. Direct warping being one of them, no need for a warp board. Easier! and less gear is a good thing. Longer warps, most have somewhere around 6 to 9 feet capacity...if not more. A 9 ft. warp on a backstrap is beyond my current skill set or need. Along with the fact that 9 feet of the same weaving is boring after a point. I love that it will allow me to use the same techniques I am currently using on my backstrap also.
For a long time the 4 1/2" width seemed narrow, but I have come to the conclusion that this is about my maximum width anyway, my comfort zone as it were. Especially since I am no longer afraid (Thanks Dana) of my sewing machine, and of course still have access to the large Wave my friend owns any time I want to use it (or can find space for it).
SOOOOOO...my friend's, yesterday I ordered an inkle loom. It is made by Northwest looms. It holds 9 1/2 ft. of warp and has a weaving width maximum of 5 1/2 in. It also has two sides, one that comes off for warping and then is placed back onto the loom to keep the pegs from bending or becoming loose from the tension on the warp while weaving. I already have a hook on the wall to hang it when not in use.
I can either use it on a table, or I have even seen folks rest the far end on the floor while weaving. No extra pieces of furniture taking up valuable floor space and no need for a fixed object that won't move while weaving. No need to scoot my chair up or the table closer while weaving either. Much more user friendly in my current circumstance.
If you have never visited Northwest looms...please do. I talked to Mr. Tony in person yesterday and found him to be a lovely gentleman. I am excited to get started!
I got these pictures off of the Northwest site. My loom will be Oak, which is what I think this one is made of also.
Here is a shot of it with the side off...Another point to notice is that the tension peg has a large wing-nut on both sides of the loom. I am sure this will make for an easier time using the tension peg. Can't wait!